Testosterone is a steroid hormone, which plays a role in enhancing libido, regulation of sperm production and increase of muscle mass. It is also believed to have strong influence on human behavioral pattern, such as aggression, territorial behavior and the desire to show off masculine power. For a young person, a decrease in the concentration of testosterone can be a very delicate case; but in old people it is very normal, because just like other hormones and body processes, aging reduces the concentration of testosterone.
The action of testosterone starts right from fetal stage, where it gives the fetus its shape, and cause the development of penis and other parts of the male reproductive system. It also gives the brain a masculine tone.
The level of this hormone in the fetal blood has to be within normal range, as an excessive amount of it may lead to the development of autism, while a deficiency, on the other hand, increases the chances of Alzheimer’s disease in the child when he is much older.
Puberty and Early Adulthood
Adolescence and early adulthood is a stage in life characterized by an rapid surge of different hormones. Androgens levels, testosterone inclusive, rise to their peak during puberty. In the male, increased testosterone is responsible for signs of puberty such as deepening of the voice, broadening of shoulders, development of facial hair, increase in muscle mass, etc. But after 30 years of age, the testosterone levels begin to decline slightly, at an estimated rate of 1% decrease every year.
Aging reduces Testosterone levels
Testosterone levels are highest during youthful life, but decreases as one advances in age. Though ageing causes a decline in testosterone levels, a decline in testosterone does not cause any signs of aging, but it can cause some sexual problems such as;
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low sperm count
Apart from sexual deficiencies, low testosterone can also cause changes such as
- Irregular sleep pattern
- Lack of self esteem
- Increased anxiety
- Reduced muscle mass and bone density and increased body weight
According to the Medical Center at Rochester University, normal testosterone levels in males ranges from 280 – 1100 ng/dL. In the case low testosterone, it is necessary to find out if the decline is as a result of disease condition, or aging.
Levels of Testosterone in Women
Testosterone is not just a male hormone. It also exists in women, but in much lower levels than is obtainable in men. Generally, women have more sensitivity to androgens than men do. The Medical Center at University of Rochester puts the normal levels of testosterone in females at 15-70 ng/dL.
After menopause, estrogen levels in women starts declining, while androgen levels start going high. Testosterone levels can also increase as a result of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
This increased androgen levels causes some physical signs such as;
- Hair loss
- Irregular menstruation
- Sprouting of facial hair
- Also, deficiency of testosterone causes complications like
- Loss of libido
- Weakness of the bones
Although aging can cause the above listed conditions, other medical conditions can also trigger these effects. The following conditions are inclusive:
Disorder of the thyroid glad
Side effects of some medications
Mayo Clinic recommends that the best approach to test for testosterone levels is by going for a blood test. According to experts at the University of Rochester Medical Center, it is best to collect such blood sample early in the morning.
The following factors can cause an abnormal result:
- Delayed or early puberty
- Ovarian cancer and cancer of the testes
- Testicular failure
- Diabetes, kidney disease, and other chronic disease conditions
Although having low levels of testosterone is worrisome, it is necessary to know that it is a part of the aging process. If you are worried about your testosterone levels, consult your doctor for proper testing and medical advice.
UNHEALTHY TESTOSTERONE LEVELS IN MALES
Normal testosterone levels in males range from 250ng/dL to 850 ng/dL. These values may however differ slightly from laboratory to laboratory.
These ranges are not ideally set; they only represent the values for males aged 20 to 80 years old. This population is however prone to have some sick people in it, suffering from one condition or the other, which may have affected their testosterone levels.
If laboratory results show that you have low levels of testosterone, but your doctor refuses to give you any treatment, there is no need to panic because the levels indicated by the result may be enough for your optimal health. If your testosterone level is critically low, your doctor knows what treatment is best for you.
EXPLAIN TO YOUR DOCTOR YOUR LOW TESTESTORONE SYMPTONS
In the scenario where the doctor is adamant to patient’s suggestions and personal observations, explain to him all the symptoms of low testosterone that you are having.
Low sexual urge, reduced muscle mass, and weakness are red flags which every good doctor would see and know that it is a case of testosterone deficiency. Some other symptoms which point in that direction are lack of motivation, fatigue and depression. In such cases, it is quite bad that instead of seeking a way to restore the hormonal levels, some doctor prefer to prescribe antidepressants for the patient.
IF DOCTOR PERSISTS, RAVE THINGS UP AND TRY TO CONVINCE HIM
If the doctor still refuses to treat you, find something creative to tell him. You can claim that your relationship is about to break up because you can no longer satisfy your spouse.
You can also claim that the condition is affecting your job efficiency; hence your boss is threatening to sack you.
Once you have narrated these stories to the doctor, any good doctor will have no choice than to give you some medication. If they still are adamant, then it is time for you to look elsewhere for another doctor.
For the best hormone replacement doctors in your area, click on the resource section listed at the top of the page.